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Teriyaki Tofu is made with crispy tofu tossed in a wholesome, sticky teriyaki sauce. Serve over rice with veggies for the ultimate plant-based meal. Gluten-free, grain-free option.
This quick and easy, crispy Teriyaki Tofu requires just 10 minutes of prep, including a simple homemade teriyaki sauce. Plus, with a few of my tips and tricks for making the best, chicken-like tofu, your dinner guests won’t believe this hearty main is made with 100% plants. It’s naturally vegan, yet packed with flavor, protein, and is a great recipe for first time tofu cooks!
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Sweet, Sticky, Tangy Tofu
This teriyaki tofu is everything you loved about your favorite teriyaki chicken, but made in your home kitchen in 30 minutes with 11 wholesome plant-based ingredients. Extra crispy, baked tofu tossed in warm, sticky teriyaki sauce until well coated. Serve immediately with green onions, sesame seeds, white jasmine rice or brown rice, and your favorite stir-fry veggies.
The ease and deliciousness of this saucy teriyaki tofu makes it one you’ll want to put into your Meatless Monday or easy dinner rotation immediately!
Ingredients for Teriyaki Tofu
As with most of my tofu recipes, you’ll need just a few simple and affordable ingredients to make this 30-Minute Teriyaki Tofu. Here’s what you need:
- Block of tofu: The best tofu to use is extra-firm tofu or super firm tofu. Soft tofu varieties will be difficult to crisp up and won’t have that chicken-like texture.
- Soy sauce: Adds umami, savoriness to both the baked tofu and the teriyaki sauce.
- Mirin: Mirin is a slightly sweet Japanese rice wine that is often used in teriyaki sauce to add subtle sweetness and acidity. It is often found in the International aisle of the grocery store, but if needed, substitute mirin with another acid such as rice vinegar or a dry white wine. These vinegars are significantly less sweet, so if using, add an additional tablespoon of brown sugar to counterbalance this.
- Sugar: Store-bought teriyaki sauces are often made with honey, which of course is not vegan friendly. Instead, I opt for brown sugar or coconut sugar. If you love a bold teriyaki sauce, go for dark brown sugar. If you prefer a less sweet Teriyaki, go with coconut sugar.
- Cornstarch: Essential for thickening the teriyaki sauce and crisping up the tofu. Without it, your tofu won’t develop that irresistible crispy crust. Don’t skip it!
- Ginger: I may be biased, but freshly grated ginger is an absolute must in homemade teriyaki sauce. For the best, spicy, fresh flavor, use the full 2 tablespoons!
How to Make Teriyaki Tofu
- Tear the tofu into bite-sized chunks and toss in oil and soy sauce until coated.
- Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss again. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Whisk the teriyaki sauce ingredients together and heat the toasted sesame oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant.
- Pour in the homemade teriyaki sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened.
- Reduce the heat, add in the cooked tofu, toasted sesame seeds, and green onions and toss to combine.
- Season to taste and enjoy while warm!
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Press your tofu: This helps drain any excess moisture and makes it more crispy once baked. If you’d like to skip this step, purchase super firm tofu and pat dry with paper towels or a clean tea towel instead.
- Adjust your teriyaki sauce to taste: After adding the teriyaki sauce into the skillet to thicken in step 4, taste the sauce and adjust as desired. If you prefer a sweeter teriyaki, add additional brown sugar or coconut sugar. If you prefer a tangier teriyaki, add additional mirin, etc.
This teriyaki tofu makes for a delicious protein main to serve overtop your favorite rice and veggies. Try it for a quick and easy lunch, simple weeknight dinner, or a Sunday meal prep. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy this Teriyaki Tofu recipe is over my Instant Pot Garlic Rice with steamed broccoli, green beans, bok choy or simple salads such as my Edamame Salad with Smashed Cucumbers.
If you’re looking for more easy Asian-inspired tofu recipes, you’ll also love this Saucy Gochujang Tofu, This Vegan Cashew “Chicken” and this Crispy Orange Tofu! You may also enjoy this quick and easy Dump & Bake Teriyaki Tofu Rice Casserole.
How to Store Teriyaki Tofu
Leftover tofu will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Freezing is also possible, but will cause the texture of the tofu to change and drain additional moisture out of the tofu. This can water down your teriyaki sauce a bit, but still be delicious and a great way to prevent food waste.
Reheat leftovers in a sauté pan or in the microwave until warmed through again!
Substitutions and Variations
- Gluten-free option: Swap the soy sauce for a gluten-free variety, such as tamari.
- Low-sodium option: As is, this is not an overly salty homemade teriyaki sauce. With that being said, if you are accustomed to eating little to no salt, substitute the soy sauce with a low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos.
- Grain-free option: Swap the cornstarch for potato starch. Note that potato starch is not the same as potato flour and cannot be used interchangeably.
- Milder teriyaki sauce: I like my teriyaki sauce on the stronger, spicier side. If you love the flavor of traditional teriyaki sauces, use only 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger.
As a general rule of thumb, it is better to gauge whether your tofu needs pressing on the type of tofu, not the brand. For example, Trader Joe’s sells a wide range of tofu firmness, meaning some will need pressing and others won’t. The only tofu that does not need pressing is Trader Joe’s Super Firm tofu. This tofu can instead be patted until dry.
Although owning a tofu press is the easiest way to press your tofu, you can also drain the tofu, wrap it in a clean tea towel, and place a heavy object such as a frying pan or book on top. Allow the tofu to press for about 10-15 minutes, or until the towel is very damp.
Absolutely. Tofu is safe to eat raw and is absolutely delicious! For more information on tofu, check out my comprehensive Guide to Tofu: Different Types + Recipe Ideas.
In order to get extra crispy tofu, it is important to make sure your tofu is well pressed and thoroughly spread out in a single layer on a large baking tray. If it is touching or overly crowded, the tofu is more likely to steam, not crisp. It needs ample space to crisp up properly.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
30-Minute Teriyaki Tofu
For the Tofu:
For the Teriyaki Sauce:
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice cooking wine)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch or potato starch
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic crushed (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1-2 tablespoons ginger finely grated*
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 3-4 green onions sliced into 1” pieces
- Serving suggestions: cooked rice steamed vegetables, etc
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Tear the tofu into bite-sized chunks for a more meat-like shape and texture, or cut into small cubes.
- Tofu: Add the tofu to a medium bowl and add in the oil and soy sauce. Toss with a spatula until evenly coated, then sprinkle the cornstarch on top and toss again. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out the tofu pieces so they aren’t touching. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.
- Sauce: Whisk the water, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Teriyaki Sauce: Warm the sesame oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 30 to 60 seconds, until fragrant. Stir the sauce again to make sure the cornstarch is dissolved, then pour it into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened to your liking. If the sauce gets too thick you can thin it out with additional water.
- Final Touches: Turn the heat to low, then stir in the baked tofu, sesame seeds, and green onion. Taste the sauce and add more soy sauce to taste, if necessary. Divide the tofu between serving bowls and serve warm, with vegetables and rice or as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari to make this recipe gluten-free
- Ginger: For a mild, more traditional teriyaki flavor, use only 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger. If you prefer a stronger and spicy ginger flavor like me, I recommend using up to 2 tablespoons!
- Mirin Substitute: replace the mirin with 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water. Rice vinegar is significantly less sweet, so if using, add an additional tablespoon of brown sugar to counterbalance this if needed.